Leonard Victor Davies Owen was educated at Llandovery School and Keeble College Oxford, where hegained a first class honours degree in Modern History in 1911. During the First World War, he servedas captain in the 5th Battalion of the Oxford and Bucks Light infantry. He lectured at Bangor andSheffield University before joining University College Nottingham (now the University of Nottingham)in 1920 to become Professor of History. He was honorary president of University College's HistorySociety, a member of the Council of the Pipe Roll Society and a member of the Lincoln RecordSociety. Professor Owen retired from the University of Nottingham in 1951 and died in February1952.
Professor Owen published extensively, and was particularly active in the editing of originalhistorical sources. He had an interest in local history, was joint editor of the Thoroton Society ofNottinghamshire, and wrote articles on a number of the manuscript sources being collected by theUniversity Library during his time at Nottingham. His published monographs include 'The connectionbetween England and Burgundy during the first half of the fifteenth century' (Oxford; 1909), and(with R.L. Archer and A.E. Chapman) 'The teaching of history in elementary schools' (London;1916).
The present collection concerns Owen's research into the 16th-centry soldier Sir Roger Williams(1540?-1595). Williams was a page in the household of Sir William Herbert, first Earl of Pembroke.He spent much of his later life engaged in the continental wars, particularly in the Netherlandsagainst the Spanish and in France. Williams was knighted in 1586 and died in London in 1595. In 'ABrief Discourse of War' (London: Thomas Orwin, 1590), he published his opinions concerning martialdiscipline in the context of his own personal reminiscences. Owen apparently planned a modernedition of Williams' work.